Child Support

questions & answers

Question: My ex and I have a 17 month old. We lived together on and off during that time. He has only given me 4 checks ever to help with our child. When I file for custody and support, how far back do they go?

Answer: Child support for past expenses may be ordered by the court and is referred to as retroactive child support.  There is not a specific amount of time that the court may or may not consider, rather there are general guidelines that they adhere to laid out in A.R.S. 25-320.

25-320. Child support; factors; methods of payment; additional enforcement provisions; definitions
A. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance or child support, the court may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child, born to or adopted by the parents, to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for support of the child, without regard to marital misconduct.
B. If child support has not been ordered by a child support order and if the court deems child support appropriate, the court shall direct, using a retroactive application of the child support guidelines to the date of filing a dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance or child support proceeding, the amount that the parents shall pay for the past support of the child and the manner in which payment shall be paid, taking into account any amount of temporary or voluntary support that has been paid. Retroactive child support is enforceable in any manner provided by law.
C. If the parties lived apart before the date of the filing for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance or child support and if child support has not been ordered by a child support order, the court may order child support retroactively to the date of separation, but not more than three years before the date of the filing for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance or child support. The court must first consider all relevant circumstances, including the conduct or motivation of the parties in that filing and the diligence with which service of process was attempted on the obligor spouse or was frustrated by the obligor spouse. If the court determines that child support is appropriate, the court shall direct, using a retroactive application of the child support guidelines, the amount that the parents must pay for the past support of the child and the manner in which payments must be paid, taking into account any amount of temporary or voluntary support that has been paid.

At the link below, you can find a child support calculator along with general information on how child support is calculated.  Although the final amount the court decides may not be the same as the calculator, it provides a reasonable estimate.  

For the child support calculator, visit: https://www.azcourts.gov/familylaw/Child-Support-Calculator-Information

For the full text of A.R.S. 25-320, visit: www.azleg.gov/ars/25/00320.htm

QUESTIONS

  • My ex and I have a 17 month old. We lived together on and off during that time. He has only given me 4 checks ever to help with our child. When I file for custody and support, how far back do they go?

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